Dennis Cahill Memorial, Augusta

On 29 July 1902, as 9-year-old Dallas Corine Kitchens was taking lunch to her aunt at the Enterprise Mill [visible at left background], she fell from the canal bridge to the water below. Dennis Cahill, an Irish immigrant working for the City of Augusta, noticed her distress and jumped into the canal to save her, but was drowned during the attempt. I believe the girl also died.

A monument of “rugged stones” was placed at the foot of the Butt Bridge to memorialize the tragedy. It reads: Dennis Cahill, By a deed of self-sacrifice such as all humanity claims and counts among its jewels, hallowed this spot and rendered his name worthy of such. Lasting Memory as these rugged stones and this simple tablet can secure. For here he gave his life in a vain attempt to save from drowning a child, having no claim for his sacrifice save Humanity and Helplessness – July 29, 1902. Born Parish of Castlemagner, County Cork, Ireland, June 1861. I am unsure when the monument was placed, but it was likely soon after the tragedy occurred. A marker placed at his gravesite in 2009 by the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians identifies him as a Hibernian Hero.

Augusta Canal Industrial District, National Register of Historic Places + National Historic Landmark + Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

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